Expectations identity and affordability: the housing dreams of Australia's Generation Y

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Bruce, M & Kelly, SJ 2013, 'Expectations identity and affordability: the housing dreams of Australia's Generation Y', Housing, Theory and Society, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 416-432.

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Australia’s generation Y has grown up believing in ‘the great Australian dream’, which is inseparable from home ownership. It embodies a sense of independence, possibly entitlement, and an expectation of economic and social advancement. In this paper Generation Y’s ‘dreams’ regarding their first home are examined with perceived risk being applied as a theoretical lens. It is found that Generation Y has expectations regarding the quality of their first home that significantly exceeds their earning capacity and that the significance of housing as an expression of identity acts as a driver of both the gap between earnings and expectations and perceptions of affordability. Nevertheless Generation Y retains a strong belief that they can ultimately get what they want and are willing to wait until their household income increases as a result of personal success, windfall gain such as inheritance or entering into a marriage/partnership.

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